11 Must-Try Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Written by Austin Chegini

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Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion in 2019, and the upward trend will likely continue for several years. Is your store maximizing its profit potential during this holiday weekend? 

Although many shoppers are increasingly turning to online retailers, your business can still get record-breaking sales with these Black Friday marketing ideas. 

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

1. Offer free gift cards

Getting people through your front door should be your main focus going into Black Friday. Although good deals and massive savings will help, your customers may need an extra nudge to visit you. 

Giving each visitor a free gift card is a very enticing offer. Now, we aren’t suggesting giving away massive amounts of cash. Your gift card should be large enough to appeal to guests, but low enough to keep you profitable. 

Gift cards work similar to discounts and coupons, but they have more staying power because they carry a cash value. FirstData reports that 53% of consumers are more likely to visit a store because they have a gift card. So even if a visitor does not buy during your Black Friday event, they will have reason to return and use their gift card. 

2. Give shoppers a sneak peek

Consumers want to know what type of offers they’ll get during the Black Friday rush. People are looking for special deals on specific items, and they will be going to the stores that clearly display what products are on sale. 

Use all your marketing channels to promote your big-ticket items so shoppers can have a glimpse of what to expect. While you don’t have to be specific about each item, you want to show your unique selling points. 

Even better, start your Black Friday deals earlier in the week to generate more interest and word of mouth about your discounts.

3. Generate hype with a well-timed email marketing campaign

How do you plan to spread the word? Sure, sending one email might help, but you want to build anticipation for your event. 

Automated email campaigns are one of the most underused Black Friday marketing ideas. Instead of sending one email, your store sends multiple emails based on a schedule or user interaction. 

For example, two weeks before your sale, you can send a vague announcement for shoppers to be on the lookout for big savings. One week before the holiday, you then announce some of your deals but tell customers to keep an eye out for a surprise gift. Twenty-four hours before Black Friday, you can then announce that the first 100 guests will receive a $20 gift card. 

By the time the last email is sent, your customers will be excited to cash in on the flash sales and savings. 

4. Offer a holiday gift-giving guide

Many people use Black Friday as a time to buy gifts for the holidays. You can make it easier for them by sending out a small gifting guide that breaks down which products will be best for a certain person. This approach is a form of suggestive selling that lets the shopper feel in control.

To start, think about the common friends and family members people have and then break out categories like “Best Gift for Dad” and “Best Gift for Grandma.” Next, look at your products and try to assign several best-sellers to a category. You don’t want to give customers too many options because that can leave them more confused, so keep it simple. We suggest a few high-priced items and a handful of smaller stocking stuffers per category. 

After you get your guide sorted, don’t forget to send it as an email, make it a video, or create a printed handout. 

5. Bundle and save

Much like handing out a guide, creating gift bundles is a perfect way to get shoppers to buy more but also save money in the process. During the Black Friday rush, customers will be relieved to find a convenient product that has everything they need. 

Best of all, bundles introduce shoppers to new products and can serve as the first step in your remarketing campaign. If you include items like soap or razors, you can include a coupon for the next purchase to capture repeat business.

There are two approaches you can take when creating gift packages:

  1. Group items by purpose to create an all-in-one bundle: Think about pre-packaged bath sets that include soap, shampoo, a sponge, and a plush towel.
  2. Group items by recipient: Think about a “Dad kit” that includes a watch, wallet, sunglasses, and keychain. 

6. Give a free gift at checkout

Many stores run Black Friday marketing campaigns that offer a free gift if a shopper spends a set Dollar amount. While that works, you want to stand out from the crowd, right? 

People like to hear the word free, and they will likely not care what the gift actually is. Just think about trade shows and conferences. People flock to booths for free shirts and sunglasses solely because they’re free. 

That said, you want to give your customers something of value; just don’t break the bank doing it. Keep the gift low-cost relative to other products in your store. It will be a nice surprise for shoppers without putting you in the negative if someone buys only one item to get the gift. 

7. Give loyalty members a special discount

Does your store have a loyalty program? If so, get these frequent shoppers excited for Black Friday with a targeted offer just for them!

Using your customer relationship management tool, send emails, mail, or text messages to let your members know about your upcoming deals. Be sure to make it clear that only loyalty members will get access to this deal — this shows the true value of the offer.

Why do past shoppers deserve a larger discount? Research shows that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times more than their first purchase. Even more, it costs more to capture customers than to retain current ones. The discount you provide your loyalty members is a worthwhile investment for your store.

8. Start an Instagram giveaway

Online contests let you engage with your audience, put your brand in front of more faces, and share goodwill with others. Instagram is the perfect platform for hosting this giveaway because of its tagging features and image-heavy approach. 

Here’s how to run an Instagram giveaway:

  1. Choose the prize: Will the winner get a free product? Gift card? A basket full of goodies? Pick something valuable that people will want to win. 
  2. Promote it with good imagery: Take high-resolution photos of your prize and frame it in the best light possible. 
  3. Set the rules: Make sure the rules are clear and comply with Instagram’s policies, as well as those that may govern your industry. We suggest requiring users to tag a few friends and share the post on their stories. Doing so will grow your contest and introduce your store to new people.
  4. Pick the winner: Using a tool like AppSorteos, pick a random winner and share the results. You can even show the picking process on your story for added transparency. 

9. Work with a charity

Black Friday caps off a week of spending time with friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday. However, many people across the country are not fortunate enough to share a warm meal with loved ones. Show your commitment to people over profit by partnering with a charity during the holiday season. 

Not only is giving back good for your community, but it can improve employee morale and share your business with new audiences. Shoppers will associate your store with charity and will be happy to support a local store that helps others. 

You can find local charities on GreatNonprofits.org

10. Encourage social media shares

Your shoppers love your store, so why not get them to share your great deals and steals? 

If you have fitting rooms, place stickers near the mirror that prompt users to share outfits on social media and tag your store. As you review the tagged posts, be sure to reshare a few on your account to encourage more shoppers to share and get featured. Even if users don’t tag your account, the sticker will have your store’s name. 

At checkout, you can ask shoppers to take photos of their bags and new products. You can even offer a discount in return for social posts, but be sure you comply with regulations for promotions. 

11. Extend your Black Friday sales all weekend

Some shoppers do not want to navigate the madness of Black Friday, or perhaps their schedules don’t allow them to take advantage of the deals. Instead of leaving these shoppers feeling left out, you can make your promotions more accessible by extending them until Sunday. Granted, some Black Friday marketing ideas can only work on the official day, but keeping your discounts going all weekend will help your small business get more sales. 


Is your store ready for Black Friday? 

Black Friday will be on Friday, November 27th 2020, so you have plenty of time to implement these marketing ideas! 

While you’re at it, think about long-term steps you can take to boost your retail sales. Is your store fully optimized for the modern economy? 

If you want a competitive edge, it’s time to invest in a cloud point of sale system. In addition to processing transactions, a cloud POS manages several aspects of your business, such as time-tracking, bookkeeping, inventory management, and customer loyalty. 

Learn more about the Epos Now system by speaking with a POS consultant today.


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